China consumer inflation falls to 1.2 percent in May
Chinese inflation fell to 1.2 percent in May, data showed Tuesday, the latest sign that growth in the world’s No. 2 economy is stalling and suggesting more monetary easing may be on the way.
The consumer price index (CPI), the main gauge of inflation, eased from April’s 1.5 percent, the National Bureau of Statistics said.
It also fell short of the 1.3 percent median forecast from a survey of economists by Bloomberg News.
Inflation has been subdued in China as growth slows and commodity prices have fallen, prompting forecasts from some economists the country could slip into a harmful cycle of deflation.
Concern has grown since January, when CPI hit its lowest point since late 2009, prompting calls for authorities to act to stave off the trend of falling prices that can choke consumer spending and growth.
China’s economy expanded 7.4 percent in 2014 — its slowest pace in 24 years — and has shown few signs of a pick-up this year. Gross domestic product (GDP) growth slowed to 7.0 percent in JanuaryMarch, the worst quarterly result in six years.
The inflation figures, which came the day after data showing imports fell for a seventh straight month in May and exports also sank, added to analysts’ predictions of further monetary easing after three interest rate cuts since late 2014.